The Right Reverend J. Neil Alexander

Vice President and Dean of the School of Theology, Professor of Liturgy, and the Charles Todd Quintard Professor of Theology

I am often asked to describe Sewanee’s distinctive liturgical tradition. One church historian, not a Sewanee insider, has referred to it as “Sewanee High Church.” What he means is that we are totally devoted to the American prayer book tradition and the best of Anglican church music. We are not low church as that is usually understood, but neither are we Anglo-Catholics with reference to what that generally implies. Reginald Fuller once called Sewanee “pre-Tractarian catholics in the prayer book tradition.” Bishop Judson Child, a Sewanee alum and our 19th University chancellor, often spoke of Sewanee as the place where he learned “catholic liturgy and evangelical preaching; it’s where I learned to be an Anglican.” We care about these things now as much as ever. The Book of Common Prayer and The Hymnal 1982 are the heart of our life in worship and devotion, ever present in our classrooms for theological study, and the standard to which we hold ourselves in nearly every way imaginable.

The Reverend Deborah Jackson, D.Min.

Associate Dean for Community Life

Years ago, when I was seeking a seminary to attend, I fell in love with the School of Theology at Sewanee. It was certainly the right place for me as a seminarian and now I am thrilled to be back and in a role that allows me to assist others in their formation for ministry. In my role as associate dean for community life, I work closely with students and their families to connect them with a variety of resources that can enhance their seminary experience. I also collaborate with faculty, staff, and others as needed to help provide an environment of seamless pastoral care and support. I am passionate about overseeing key aspects of community life for students — from new student orientation to deployment assistance for upcoming graduates. It is an exciting time to be at Sewanee, and an honor to facilitate community building that equips church leaders to do the ministry to which they have been called.

Sheri D. Kling

Executive Director of the Beecken Center and Associate Dean of the School of Theology

Because my own life has been transformed by the healing power of God, I consider myself a voice for transformation and therefore seek to help people encounter the sacred Mystery at the heart of the universe from which such healing transformation springs. As a naturally interdisciplinary thinker, I weave together any threads I find that will add beauty to the tapestry of psycho-spiritual wholeness and well-being, and that will lead us all to what I call “common flourishing.” It is this mission that is at the core of my leadership style, my teaching, and my scholarship. The abundant life that Jesus promised is the birthright of all beings and of the earth itself, and so it is my hope that my work with the Beecken Center and the School of Theology as a whole will help make manifest that birthright.

The Reverend Canon James F. Turrell, Ph.D.

Norma and Olan Mills Prof of Divinity, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Sub-dean of the Chapel of the Apostles

I am passionate about the study of religious practices in the past and about preparing clergy to lead effective worship in the present and future. The historical perspective helps us to understand what we are doing and to resist the merely trendy, instead pointing us towards the things that endure, translated for an evolving culture. I am both a historian and a priest, and both of these vocations inform my work as a scholar and teacher. My interest in dead Britons of the Tudor and Stuart era coexists with my enthusiasm for good liturgy done well in the present, in the service of God and God’s people.